Friday, December 27, 2013

Seeing Beyond the Illusion of Separateness

Most members of the human family experience their lives as individuals, separate from others and the rest of the Universe. We identify with our names, nationalities, race, careers, family or religious group.

What many fail to experience and realize is our deeper unity and relationship with All That Is. At a physical level we are formed by the atoms and molecules of the earth, water and air- taken in as we eat, drink and breathe. Our bodies are composed of elements forged in the heart of stars that were themselves born in the spinning arms of our galaxy.

The star closest to us keeps all beings on our planet alive. Photons streaming down every day are captured by the leaves of trees and plants. That energy is what animates our cells, organs and muscles, allowing us to live. We are both biological and solar beings, in a sense, children of Nature and the stars.

This is not something society normally encourages us to think about, but at a very deep and physical level, this is who we are.

And what of our spiritual identity? Various religions speak of this in different ways- telling us we are souls, awakening buddhas, spirit beings from another realm, localized awarenesses. Children of God or the Tao, inhabiting Planet Eden, lost in dreams of war, politics, careers, economics and mass consumption.

One "Spiritual Hypothesis" is that we are all expressions of a Single Unified Awareness, a Universal MInd, dreaming and creating all that we see around us. Like molecules of water that rise up out of the oceans and then fall back as rain, we are expressions of this One, individualizing during our lifetimes and then returning.

Whatever the truth may be, the fact that we are here now, together, sharing this world, seems to be quite a miracle. Experiencing life this way, and joyfully sharing that experience with others, is what many spiritual traditions refer to as enlightenment or awakening.

Tao & Zen Community Forum



"Once we step into the reality of a holistic consciousness that is truly in “interrelationship” with the whole, we will find our self in a very different world in which everything is interacting with us in a continually dynamic state. Even our consciousness is affecting the physical world. The question then becomes what is our role in this truly interdependent reality? Even our present image of “deep ecology” primarily sees the world through a consciousness of separation—the analytic and rational framework of our education and conditioning. We rarely experience our consciousness merged into the oneness of the world around us, as for example exists with indigenous peoples for whom even the idea of an individual being separate from their environment does not exist.

Sadly separation is so embedded into our present Western consciousness that we are not even aware of the limitations of our perception, or how our problem-solving mentality has a determining effect on how we see and interact with our environment. We have been educated to see the parts rather than the whole, and to think and act from an attitude of separation. If we are to truly embrace the reality of an ecological sustainability that recognizes the world as a living whole, we need to make the shift into a holistic consciousness, a consciousness that sees the whole in every part. Only then can we fully respond to the environmental crisis that is being caused by our present Western consciousness and the values it supports. Deep ecology requires not just a shift in values or ideology, but a shift in consciousness."

—Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

From Sustainability, Deep Ecology, & the Sacred: With thanks toWorking with Oneness

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